Wednesday, February 08, 2006

ICC Elects New Judges

On January 26th, the Assembly of State Parties to the International Criminal Court elected six judges to serve nine-year terms. This is the second such election; 18 judges were elected in 2003, six for three-year terms, six for six-year terms, and six for nine-year terms. With the exception of Ekaterina Trendafilova of Bulgaria, the five other judges were all elected in 2003 to three-year terms.

Pursuant to Article 36 of the Rome Statute, the 100 Representatives were effectively required to vote for at least one candidate from an African State, at least one candidate from an Asian State, at least two candidates from Eastern European States, and at least one female candidate. The ballot also contained two lists of candidates. Candidates on List A had established expertise in criminal law, while candidates on List B had expertise in relevant areas of international law.

I thought Opinio Juris readers might be interested in knowing something about the six newly-elected judges. They are:

Elected from List A (Criminal Law)

Ekaterina Trendafilova (Bulgaria)

Received 82 votes. Prior to her recent election, Judge Trendafilova was a full professor of law at Sofia Unversity, from which she holds a Ph.D. She is also a professor of law at Veliko Turnovo University. She served as the Bulgarian representative to the UN Commission for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and has worked extensively with the European Commission CARDS Regional Project. She is also a trained Barrister.

Sang-hyun Song (Korea)

Received 70 votes. Prior to his election in 2003, Judge Song was a professor at Seoul National University. As a member of the advisory committee to the Korean Supreme Court and Ministry of Justice, he participated in the reform of the Korean Penal Code and the Code and the Court Rules of Criminal Procedure. He has served as Vice-President of UNICEF/KOREA and has been a visiting law professor at Columbia NYU, and Harvard, among others. He also holds a J.S.D from Cornell, an LL.M from Tulane, and a LL.B from Seoul National University.

Elected from List B (International Law)

Hans-Peter Kaul (Germany)

Received 67 votes. Prior to his election in 2003, Judge Kaul was the Ambassador and Commissioner of the Federal Foreign Office for the ICC. He also served as the head of the German delegation to the ICC Preparatory Committee. As the director of the Public International Law Division of Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, he was responsible for several cases before the International Court of Justice. He holds a law degree from the University of Heidelberg.

Erkki Kourula (Finland)

Received 73 votes. Prior to his election in 2003, Judge Kourula was the Director General for Legal Affairs at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He has also served as the Finnish Ambassador to the Council of Europe and as Minister Counsellor and Legal Advisor at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations. He was the head of the Finnish delegation to the Rome Conference. He holds a Ph.D in International Law from Oxford and was a Professor of International Law at the University of Lapland.

Akua Kuenyiha (Ghana)

Received 72 votes. Prior to her election in 2003, Judge Kuenyiha was Dean of the University of Ghana Faculty of Law, where she taught criminal law, gender and the law, international human rights law, and public international law. A Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana, she holds a BCL from Oxoford and an LL.B from the University of Ghana.

Anita Usacka (Latvia)

Received 77 votes. Prior to her election in 2003, Judge Usacka was a Judge of the Latvian Constitutional Court. She was also a full professor in the Department of Constitutional Law of Latvia University, where she had been academically affiliated since 1975. She has expertise in international humanitarian and public law, with a particular focus on the rights of women and children. She holds a Ph.D in law from Moscow State University and a law degree from the Latvian University.